Assuring Quality Foods
CALS Alumna Works to Maintain Quality Standards at Darigold
A chance conversation with a fellow University of Idaho student helped steer 2012 alumna Kathleen Momont to the UI/WSU School of Food Science.
“I’ve always loved food and TV shows about how food is made. I just never knew you could get a degree in it,” the Caldwell native said. “One of my sorority sisters heard me complaining about being a business major and suggested I look into food science. I went and saw her advisor and changed majors right away.”
For Momont, that change was the right decision. After completing two internships with Darigold, Momont accepted a management trainee position with the company. She is currently the quality assurance supervisor at Darigold.
“In this position, I’m basically the person that makes sure everything we are doing in the plant is up to legal standards, as well as customer standards,” she said.
Momont initially had concerns about taking a quality assurance position because she didn’t want to be stuck at a desk all day doing paperwork. She quickly learned that there is much more involved with the position.
“I have not gotten bored since I got here,” she said. “I get the opportunity every day to go down on the plant floor and visit with all the employees. Just recently I got to visit a dairy farm, which I had never done before so that was a cool experience.”
Momont’s experiences in the UI/WSU School of Food Science continue to impact her professional life.
“Some of the classes we had at UI, we learned about the Food Safety Modernization Act and the programs the FDA uses to keep tabs on the food industry. I use that stuff every day,” she said.
She also appreciated the agricultural based education she received in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the fact that all of her professors had industry experience or relevant research experience.
“Having professors that have actual life experience in the field was really, really helpful,” she said. “I’m not sure how many other majors actually give you that."
"There are so many opportunities in food science. There are so many career paths you can take. You’re really not limited by anything."